Lahore-based author Bilal Tanweer on 24 November 2014 won the 2014 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for his novel The Scatter Here Is Too Great (Random House India).
Bilal Tanweer was selected by the jury of the award consisting of authors Amit Chaudhuri, Aatish Taseer and Mridula Koshy. The award comprised of the price money of 2 lakhs rupees and a trophy.
The five other books shortlisted for the 2014 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize were: A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor, The Vanishing Act by Prawin Adhikari, A cool dark place by Supriya Dravid, The Competent Authority by Shovon Chowdhury and The Smoke Is Rising by Mahesh Rao.
The Scatter Here Is Too Great: Bilal Tanweer
Bilal Tanweer’s book underlines the crucial importance of literature in our larger cultural landscape. The Scatter Here Is Too Great balances the universality of existential torment with the often horrifying nitty-gritty realities of its location, Karachi.
A vivid and intricate novel-in-stories, The Scatter Here Is Too Great explores the complicated lives of ordinary people whose fates unexpectedly converge after a deadly bomb blast at the Karachi train station.
Bilal Tanweer reveals the pain, loneliness, and longing of the characters and celebrates the power of the written word to heal lives and communities plagued by violence.
• Tanweer, born and raised in Karachi, has published fiction, poetry and translation in various international journals.
• In 2011, he was selected as a Granta New Voice and was one of the eleven recipients of the 2010 PEN Translation Fund Grant.
• His fiction, poetry and translations have appeared in various international magazines including Granta, Vallum, Critical Muslim, and Words Without Borders
• He was recently named an Honorary Fellow of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.
Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize
The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize is an award named after journalist Shakti Bhatt, who passed away in 2007.
The Shakti Bhatt Prize represents the evolving ethos of South Asian literature. Other shortlists in the category included books based in the urban Indian metropolitans and rural Nepal, amongst other locales.
The award was won by Nilanjana Roy in 2013 for her book The Wildlings.
Who: Bilal Tanweer
When: 24 November 2014
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